How to decide the niche for your funnel business once and for all

Choose a niche for your funnel business. Niche down. Create a sub-niche. Find a micro niche. All good advice but how can funnel builders really choose a niche AND stick to it.

There are literally THOUSANDS of agencies and funnel builder businesses out there. Why should someone choose you over anyone else? What does your funnel business offer that they can’t get from someone else?

We all know that we shouldn’t compete on price. In fact, marketing funnel businesses that do compete on price, have to do so because they DON’T have a niche.

Niche marketing is so overused as a term that it’s lost all meaning. When I talk to funnel builders who tell me they have a niche, I’m staggered at how many people feel that “small local businesses” is a niche.

It isn’t.

You MUST choose a niche that you can dominate. If you don’t, you’re going to struggle gaining any real traction in the market.

But if I choose a niche that’s too small, I’ll limit my options!

I hear this a lot and I totally understand. The number 1 fear that all marketing funnel businesses have, is that if they choose a niche, that it might be too small and they’ll struggle to grow.

Your thinking is based in fear. Fear that you’ll miss out if you choose a niche that’s too small. It’s a valid concern.

I remember at university, someone trying to start a unicycle basketball league. Not just a team, an entire league.

My university was medium sized, around 11 000 students. The “niche” of people who could play basketball AND unicycle AND owned a unicycle AND wanted to join a team was pretty small. In fact I can you the exact ratio. It was 3 people.

The same people that wanted to set it up. That’s 3/11000. A conversion rate of 0.027%. They fell into the classic trap of choosing a niche that they felt was super boutique and really, they just wanted to show off what they could do.

The MARKET of the university didn’t want what they were selling.

This isn’t going to happen to you because you’re smarter than a trio of kids who would describe themselves as “a bit random”.

Niche markets encourage growth. They’re incredibly deep and you’ll find a wealth of exposure and rapid traction when it’s clear WHO you can help.

Any clown with a laptop can become a funnel builder

Marketing funnels are becoming more and more popular as a service. Their rise in popularity is in part due to the increased intelligence of our customers and their need for marketing funnel based results. Combined with the easy technology available (ClickFunnels, WordPress, Thrive Themes), any clown with a laptop can become a funnel builder.

If you don’t address the niche that you’re going to target, dominate and serve then you’re going to compete with people based on price. It won’t be clear to the customer what you offer over anyone else. Customers don’t care about pedigree, time in the market, friendliness, quality of service.

They care about whether your product is suitable to them. Does it speak to them and their needs?

On top of all that, the best product doesn’t even win. Even if you’ve got a superior funnel product, that doesn’t help customers understand why they should go with you.

BetaMax vs. VHS. Pepsi vs. Coke (blind taste tests show Pepsi as the superior cola drink). Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the superior product wins. It doesn’t.

The world’s best photographer doesn’t make as many as the world’s second best photographer who market’s themselves.

The most common mistake that people make when marketing their business, especially service based businesses like marketing funnels, is telling people what they do.

I’ve been doing this full time for over 5 years. I have long term colleagues and friends who still have no idea what I do. However, as soon as tell them WHO I can help, they understand much faster.

People understand who you help, much faster than how you help them.

We’re going to choose a niche that makes sense for your business. It’s going to be large enough to sustain you, clear that you can help them, make your marketing easier and position yourself as a market leader.

Choose a market

 

The most important part to choosing a niche is starting with a market. Businesses are defined by the market’s they serve, not the products they sell.

Most funnel businesses are trying to sell 1 product to 10 different customers. That’s an incredibly expensive and inefficient method to getting your product to market. There’s nothing differentiating you from your competitors.

I have no doubt that every single business and market in the world would benefit from sitting with you and hiring you and your team. But some businesses are going to benefit more than others. Businesses with $0 turnover, who want to get to $250 000 in year need to make $250 000 as a %100 revenue increase.

A business with $2.5 million in turnover would only need a 10% increase in revenue to reach the same number. I know which business I’d rather work with.

The same goes for leads, email subscribers, followers, customers, products. You have to work with businesses that would benefit from working with you. All businesses would get some benefit, but your job is to knock it out the park.

As for choosing a vertical, that’s completely up to you. It could be an industry or a market. It could be a business type or process that a business uses.

If you’re looking for ideas, make sure to check out my guide on 108 niches that funnel businesses could become kings in.

As a rule, don’t worry about having experience IN that market. It’s more important to be willing to help that market. You can have experience anywhere else, from the process you employ, to the problems the customer faces. Experience in the industry is quickly gotten and it’s not something you can compete on anyway. There is always someone else who’s got more experience. Your job is to be willing to help that market.

15 year old Jack Andraka invented a new method in diagnosing pancreatic cancer. There are surgeons who have dealt with pancreatic cancer longer than Jack has been alive. Experience isn’t everything. Willingness to help is.

Can that market sustain you?

I know 2 markets that always need help. Start ups and not-for-profits. I have no end of leads and enquiries from those types of businesses. They need help, exposure, leads, customers and marketing. But they never have any fucking money.

Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a market that’s easy to get. Just because there is a clear demand doesn’t mean they’re willing to spend the money on you.

In my podcast interview with ClickFunnels Radio and Dave Woodward he talks about “willing and able to spend money”. Are they willing and able to invest in your services. If they’re not, then you can’t work with them.

Does that market need your help?

Unicycle basketball team. Did my university want that?

Apparently it’s a relatively well known underground sport. Globally there is a league. But my university didn’t have the numbers to sustain the market.

Does that market really need your help? You have to be clear that your chosen industry really needs your help.

It’s worth remembering that a market or vertical doesn’t always mean an industry. It’s not about choosing an industry, or even a sub-section of an industry. It’s about being crystal clear on who you can help.

Online course businesses who have content, customers and leads and want to be a category leader – that’s our agency’s niche market. Even then I’m still not positive that it’s defined enough.

Online courses is a market. Not a niche. It’s too broad. Online courses that host on Learndash could be a niche. Online certification courses who use Credly is a niche. Combine a market with a “what they do” or “what they want” and you’re more likely to find a niche that stands out.

Small business isn’t a niche. We build funnels for small businesses. That’s not a niche. It’s barely a market. Be more specific.

If anyone reading this post ever tells me their niche is “small businesses” I’ll give you the bollocking of a lifetime. Think Gordon Ramsay level’s of yelling.

Gordon ramsay niche marketing

IT’S FUCKING RAW

Also, try to stay away from location based markets and niches. It’s a false economy because I can set up a business 2ft away from you and start competing in the same market.

One of my first “competitors” (again, fuck off Martin), was the only game in town for a long time. They were not happy bunny’s when I set up. It’s like I encroached on their market. By living in the same small town. Don’t be Martin.

What sucks or can be better in their market?

 

You have a moral obligation to deliver something different or better to that market. If you’re unable to unwilling to do something better or faster in a market, you have no business being there.

Frankly, I am literally disgusted when someone tells me they don’t know what they do better or different than their customer.

No – service, quality, price, experience, years in business, friendliness and location are not differentiation. You must do something better or different than everyone else in that market.

I want to be as clear as possible when I say different or better. That difference MUST benefit the customer and they must be understood by the customer. Using a piece of software that only you have, is a differentiation, but the customer doesn’t benefit. They don’t care.

What part of the process do you enjoy?

What doesn’t work in the market or what could be better? What can you do better? The beauty of this question is that you can choose a very specific part of the process to cover and say you do that better than anyone.

We help convert Twitter followers into email subscribers better than anyone (higher conversion rate).

We help beer companies secure more pub customers.

We drive more day 1 traffic to squeeze pages from Pinterest than anyone.

You can either choose a part that you’re already doing, or getting great results in. But don’t let that put you off, you can also decide to work at a problem and focus on making a better option.

It has to be clear why working with you is a better option than the thousands of other options.

What do you like to learn about?

Think about what you like to learn about? This is typically a good place to start with a niche. If there’s something that you like to learn about, then you’re more likely to be obsessed and drive about it.

Find something that you want to learn more about and teach that to others. It’s a clear indicator that you believe it’s important and your conviction will be genuine.

Forget about a USP

Unique selling propositions are a massive red herring. I believe business coaches and marketing plans use them as an easy method of differentiation.

If I could be unique or first, I’d rather be first. I’d rather be the first to identify, solve and promote a problem than someone who has a unique take on something.

What aren’t your competition doing?

This is the most overused and underutilised method of marketing in the world.

List 5 things your competition aren’t doing. In fact, I’ve already done that for you here.

Blogging, content, writing a book, videos, software. There’s 5 for you right there.

If you’re thinking that’s too hard or you don’t want to or any other excuse, then you don’t deserve customers. If you’re not willing to do something that your competition aren’t, then why should anyone use you?

Create a category

Who’s the best car company in the world? The world’s best car company?

Well, is it the largest? The most profitable? Is it the fastest car? The most models? The safest? The longest living? There are too many variables to decide a “best” car company. At the most, this is what you’re doing with your business. You’re trying to be the best in a market that has no definition.

marketing funnel niche car company

Obviously this is a trick question. This is the best car.

Who’s the best runner in the world? Are they the fastest over 100m or 10k? Are they the one with the most miles in a year? The longest single run ever? How do we decide the world’s best runner?

 

Who makes the safest cars in the world?

Who is the original cola drink?

Who is the original cloud based service business?

There aren’t trick questions, they’re examples of people creating a very specific market (category).

Volvo, Coca-Cola, Salesforce. These businesses created a space and a market and dominate them by being the first. ALL marketing funnel businesses have this opportunity.

If you remove your product from the equation, think about the market. Yes, you’ll probably be selling and building marketing funnels when it comes down to it. But think about the MARKET. WHO needs your help? That’s 100x more important.

Be clear on who you help and everything else will fall into place.

Waiting for the wrong bus

I guarantee you, that the day you decide to choose a niche and start to promote that market, a lead for a totally unrelated industry will approach you.

Do you take it? Do you leave it? Honestly it boils down to your desperation. You need to pay the bills, I get it. It doesn’t define you for the rest of your career.

However, you want to stick to your niche as soon as possible. That way you can start building a process and standardising your practice. The faster you do that, the more opportunity you’re creating for yourself.

Let me finish by saying people are more likely to recommend you and help with referrals when they understand WHO you help. We help amateur athletes run 100 miles races. We help online course businesses who have a certificate programs. We help fridge manufacturers who sell to students.

People can understand who you help easier than what you do. Most people have no idea what a lead conversion automation platform is. But they know exactly who online ebook authors are.

If you tell people who you help and they still ask WHAT you do or HOW you do it, then your market might not be specific enough. This is the small business trap.

“We help small businesses find more leads”.

Ok…how do you do that? What do you do?

“We help retail store businesses who want an online webshop to sell to customers online.” That’s specific.

“We help online webshop sell to customers online” isn’t.

Let me know what niche you’re going after below in the comments. Or if you want me to clear a few points up, let me know in the comments.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.